Meet Barry, Pukka's Head of Quality Control
Tell us a little about yourself
I’m Barry, Quality Manager and part of the Quality Control team at Pukka Herbs. I’ve been working at Pukka for almost nine years. My job is to ensure the quality of the herbs we use in our blends meet our high standards for taste, quality and sustainability.
What does organic mean to Pukka?
Organic is at the heart of what we do - we always aim to go beyond the regulations. Even the string in our tea bags is certified organic even though there’s no requirement to do that to meet organic standards. To me, that’s a real statement and shows how committed we are.
Tell us about your team
Our job is to test all the herbs that we use in our blends. That means a lot of tea tasting! We build a profile for each tea based on appearance, aroma, flavour and mouthfeel. Then we make sure that every tea bag that goes out to consumers meets that standard.
How does your team help to connect people to the power of plants?
For my team, plants are so close to what we do daily. The Quality team all come from backgrounds in herbalism, pharmacognosy - which is plants and chemistry - or like myself, ethnobotanics. So as a team Pukka’s mission is a passion we all share. To channel that passion into teas and supplements that benefit an entire chain from crop to cup is so rewarding.
What’s your favourite Pukka cuppa?
It’s difficult to say because it’s often about how you at feel at that moment in time. But I like my tea to not just be about the flavour, but also the culture - so I would say Three Tulsi. Aside from bringing inner balance and stress relief, I really like that tulsi is the sacred plant of India, left as a spiritual offering to the gods.
And your hero herb?
As my background is in herbs and I have an interest in Indian herbs, I’d probably say Brahmi. I love the story of where it comes from and how it’s grown in Indian paddy fields. I also like the medicinal properties, used for cognition and mental health.